Overwhelming Majority of Small Business Owners Optimistic, Says SurePayroll Survey

After years of living under the rain cloud of recession, things may finally be looking up, at least judging by the results of a recent survey conducted by SurePayroll for March 2012.

The SurePayroll Scorecard, which looks at national, state and regional hiring and salary indices as an indicator of the overall U.S. economy, showed that 70% of small business owners are optimistic about the state of their businesses.

March 2012 small business optimism

The Signs of Good Things to Come

What proof do we actually have that things are better? Well, for one, we’re hiring more. In the survey, 31% said they planned to hire during 2012. Only 2% plan to reduce hiring.  Nearly 80% said their first quarter of business met or exceeded expectations, largely due to an increase in customer demand, as well as some cost cutting.

We hire more people when there’s a greater demand for our products and services. When the economy improves, more people spend money.  SurePayroll CEO and President Michael Alter says:

“Small businesses are seeing some demand rebounding in their businesses and very few are talking about a pullback in hiring. These are good signs for the future.”

Still Room for Improvement

One area that stayed flat or decreased slightly on the SurePayroll Scorecard is salary. While businesses are hiring (at least some of them), they’re not paying more. Some people who work for large corporations took a paycut during the recession – but still haven’t seen that money back.

Here’s hoping that businesses begin to relax and get some confidence that growth is coming and that they will increase pay for employees.



Susan Payton Susan Payton is the Communications Manager for the Small Business Trends Awards programs. She is the President of Egg Marketing & Communications, an Internet marketing firm specializing in content marketing, social media management and press releases. She is also the Founder of How to Create a Press Release, a free resource for business owners who want to generate their own PR.

7 Reactions
  1. I’m optimistic about this optimism.

  2. are you guys HIGH? we have more regulation and taxes than ever ! this economy is on the tip of crashing again / check out the stock market today – the dollar is headed for the basement – unless you’ve got a government job the rest of us are struggling –

    • Hi Jess,

      I agree that we have more regulation than ever, and taxes just keep going up. And that’s not good for small business.

      But I also know that businesses are staying positive in the face of those things, as much as possible.

      We’re not trying to be insensitive to anyone whose business is suffering. If anything, we are trying to be encouraging, by pointing out a bit of positive attitude by our peers.

      – Anita

  3. Everyone wants to be optimistic. The issues are that there are a lot more obstacles than just regulations in the way.
    Read my book The Last Will and Testament of Small Business.
    I think anyone who has the pressure of making a payroll based on the blood, sweat,fear and tears will agree with what is needed to help us and therefore the economy.